The Rev. W.P. White saw the need in 1946 for a place of worship and founded First Baptist Church in 1946 on the Agua Caliente Indian Reservation. Rev. L.B. Moss past President, California State Baptist Convention assisted in organizing First Baptist Church. Services were conducted in a tent for the next two years. Rev. White was followed in leadership by Rev. Alexander who had a short tenure.
Rev. T.H. Reagans, became Pastor October 23, 1947, under his administration the first Church building was erected. A parsonage was built in 1948. Rev. Reagans served First Baptist Church for seven years. Rev. W. Mack Davis was accepted as Pastor on September 17, 1954 and served four years.
Rev. Jeff Rollins Sr. began pastoral duties December, 1958. Under Pastor Rollins’ leadership spiritual and financial advancement began to form. The Church purchased four lots in 1959 for the sum of $10,000.00. The Church purchased another lot and built a parsonage three years later.
A ground breaking ceremony was held on September 1, 1963 for the joyful purpose of building a new Church for God with its monetary value of $100,000.00. The first service was conducted July 5, 1964. In the same year, under the auspices of First Baptist Church and the leadership of Pastor Rollins a program for care and development of children began in the Church. Soon plans were drawn for a building to house the program. Ground was broken in 1967 for this new building and completed in 1968. This program is now known as Palm Springs Child Care And Development Center.
First Baptist Church under the leadership of Pastor Rollins was a pioneer in the Child Care And Development Program. This Center has served as a model for California and the nation as a whole.
The debt against the parsonage was liquidated in 1972. The Church was advised by Pastor Rollins to formulate a program to liquidate its debts. This program began in 1974 and was culminated in the later months of 1978. Pastor Rollins and members of First Baptist Church joined with many friends and well wishers in a day of rejoicing in giving thanks to God for the Mortgage Burning Ceremony held on January 28, 1979.
First Baptist Church had its conception and birth in a tent, but through faith in God it has made great progress. Through Godly leadership and wise administration, First Baptist Church’s assets have passed beyond the Million Dollars mark.
The liquidating of the indebtedness did not cause First Baptist Church to sit and hold its hands. Pastor Rollins declared after the burning of the Mortgage that he would continue to build up mankind and mankind’s environment. This was being done by keeping the Church in training. The Church organized three main branches of instruction: The History of the Church, Christian Education and Leadership. God was blessing.
Rev. Rodney Croom became Pastor on January 1, 2002. God gave him a vision to lead First Baptist to be a “Church where LOVE is displayed and the WORD is proclaimed”. Pastor Croom has endured suffering as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. He has trained hard and followed the rules as a determined athlete. Like a farmer, he works extremely hard and is patient when teaching the TRUTH.
God has shown grace to this body of believers under Pastor Croom’s leadership. Many souls have been saved, baptized and discipled in the Word of God. Lives have been changed and couples have been united in marriage. Established ministries have grown and new ministries have developed to strengthen the individual, family and community. FBC has adopted the mindset of going in to all the world to preach and teach the Word to the lost. The study of God’s Word and applying It to our lives are crucial components in aiding us in glorifying God, evangelizing the lost and edifying the body.
Throughout these 70+ years, we have had our ups and downs. But thank God for his grace and mercy have sustained us.